Saturday, January 21, 2012

Epona's Dream





 Epona’s Dream


In eons’ life my white-lashed eye has caught
consuming cross the goldgreen grasslands' wave
the endless star broomed dance of come and go;
generations of ravens laughed 
as cactus centuries passed, yet
one short wishful glance, only once
a glimpse of you, the dark stallion in 
a sunmist I’ve seen prancing, seen you stand
more than horse and less than man
fiery four legged totem, dolmen jawed
pounder of the white wolf’s skull.
Never have you come to graze
the pastures I have wished and wayed,
hooves flying to me under the sickle moon. 
I dream you still as your high red eye
rolls white, sleepless on your
gravid seraglio.

Do you likewise dream of me, once only
glimpsed, the fleetly fading stippled stray
stranger, maverick mare whose mane unbound
that gold and silver ribboned sleet
stretched on prairie air with the tossing wheat;
do you ever think we might
outrun the wind that blows behind the stars,
feel again grey muzzles nudge up dawn, 
hot blow of breath, trembling flank, equine
hammering heart be all our wealth
of soul, of singing, all of rest?
Or  am I the one that wandered a step too far
in the moon of slipping tides
the one you fed just once in the hungry night
content to watch the shadows swallow back
the  empty chalice of a symbol
when the wine’s poured out?

A dreary jog a weary winding fate 
bound to go ahead of you and wait
for journeys end, the last low luminous gate.




January 2012


Posted for    real toads
Prompt: Photography of Margaret Bednar

Process Notes: "In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, donkeys, and mules. She was particularly a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, cornucopia, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures suggested that the goddess and her horses were leaders of the soul in the after-life ride..."~wikipedia  

As usual, I have taken a few liberties with the mythic elements.


Image: photo by gracious permission of  Margaret Bednar

18 comments:

  1. Oh Golly! Goosebumps moment over here...
    I love the two views offered in each stanza: the sketch of the stallion and the sketch of the mare.

    "the stranger, maverick mare whose mane unbound
    that gold and silver ribboned sleet
    stretched on prairie air with the tossing wheat..." Just glorious writing.

    And many thanks for your kind words on my last - high praise from you, Joy, which is much appreciated.

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    1. Thanks, Kerry. I'm still rewriting it--I am hopeless with writing spontaneously, so instant prompts are a real challenge. I'm glad you liked it, and reading your last was purely my pleasure.

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    2. smiles. i like hedge...i like the personification of the horse...Never have you come to graze
      the pastures I have wished and wayed,...the desire in that line, esp followed by wanting to know if they dreamed the same...lovely hedge

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    3. Thanks boss--hope they get your bug fixed so you can leave a comment that isn't a reply. ;-)

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  2. So much of this reminds me of Rhiannon as well, the fleet horse-goddess who the hero could not catch up with, only to discover that it was she who was trying to catch him -- faces of this and Other world peering at each other through the veil, both trying to woo the other across. Interesting that Epona was a ferry-woman of the soul to the afterlife; Manannan rode a horse named Wave-Sweeper and is the archetype of Michael, rowing boats to the other shore. I love it how the encounter is once and almost and never quite and always in this poem, dancing on the borderline that is neither this nor other life but both, the far end of language where word and world are one. Another ripper of the great wind, er, I mean, fine Western winds winnowing Epona's mane. - Brendan

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    1. Yes, I owe you for the intro to that Rhiannon legend, which somehow seems to have gotten into and galloped out of my psyche here in a mirror image sort of way. I had only three or four lines of this in my fragments file to work from ( the sleet lines and the chalice) and building it was arduous, as it took the bit between its teeth and confounded me in several places, esp. the opening and closing, both of which I rewrote about two dozen times. I think there's no doubt horses come up straight from Lascaux to live as symbols in our collective subconscious--their beauty and their wild freedom which we transform to mundane and gentle captivity. Thanks for reading through the disorderly stampede of words.

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  3. "generations of ravens laughed/ as cactus centuries passed"... Oh stoppit! Show off.

    This has the rhythm and cadence of a ride, with the slow rise and fall of hopes.

    I also love the gray nuzzles nudging up the dawn. Beautiful, soft-focus, melancholy in the end.

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  4. This is beautiful Hedge ~

    Do you likewise dream of me, once only
    glimpsed, the fleetly fading stippled stray
    stranger, maverick mare whose mane unbound
    that gold and silver ribboned sleet
    stretched on prairie air with the tossing wheat

    Exquisite writing ~

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  5. Thanks all, especially Margaret, for her generous gift of her art for this prompt.

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  6. This gallops like a horse, gorgeous image after gorgeous image. Just breathtaking.

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    1. Thanks for the sugar cube, MZ. Or virtual one--current diet precludes such decadence, more's the pity.

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  7. Dear hedgewitch, I found you through Dave's Pics and Poems. And I am going to add you at once to my favourites after this lush, mesmerising poem and also the splendid quotation from Wallace Stevens.


    HORSES

    Heartbeats under the rind,
    some brown shine and shard
    of yours, mirrors of your wish
    that nod in the breath
    and shoot you into a willingness
    of fields and furrows.
    Mines and puzzles of eyes,
    earth’s blackness rising in hushed howls
    in the bottomless well of a gaze
    that can also be a quiet, reassuring
    brush at your shoulder.
    A down-to-earth heaven,
    steps through which
    you both sink and soar
    on foundations of mud,
    stone, sweat, fur and nail.

    On their skin. On your skin too.
    Another whiff the sky breathes with.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Tommaso, glad you made your way here, and thanks for leaving that poem to brighten my reading this morning. It's beautiful.

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  8. A beautiful interpretation of the image...the endless star broomed dance of come and go..I love this

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  9. Ooh, very nice. Gravid Seraglio! Amazing. I love the emptied chalice, and, of course, the end is very beautiful. I am not so horsey, so some of this is a bit harder for me than other poems, but that said, I can recognize beauty when I see it! K.

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  10. maverick mare whose mane unbound
    that gold and silver ribboned sleet
    stretched on prairie air with the tossing wheat;

    Ah! I see you were taken in by they eye of that minx, Sonder. She is a flirt and all the geldings seem to have big eyes for her... and she enjoys every minute of it. This poem is beautiful.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg